Gone are the days when those in an emergency situation have to pick up the phone and call 911. Like most everything else in the world, even the emergency 911 service is evolving technologically. Now, instead of actually calling 911, talking to a dispatcher, and waiting on the line until help arrives, you can simply send them a text message. At first glance, this seems like both a good idea and a not-so-good idea.
As of 5/15/14, if you live in the United States and are covered by Sprint, Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile, you should be able to text 911. If you’re wondering what all you should say in the text message, you’re not alone. Apparently it’s pretty easy, though.
Should you have an emergency and don’t want to physically talk to a dispatcher, here is what you have to do: open up whatever texting app you use, put “911” in the recipient/phone number box, and then type your emergency in the message box. When typing, you should include your address and a description of what is going on. I should add that Text-to-911 is not able to accept any kind of pictures or videos in the texts at this time. Hopefully this will change in the future, as it could potentially be helpful especially in motor vehicle accidents where callers/texters aren’t exactly sure of their physical address.
As I wrote earlier, I think this is overall a good idea, but there’s also the obvious chance that the text won’t go through and a person will be left waiting for help, whereas if you call 911, you’re certain they’ve received your information. That’s why the National Emergency Number Association still recommends that you actually physically call 911 when you have the ability.
What do you think of this update?
[Image via Today]